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Non-Prog Concert Reviews

Paul Stanley

Live In Chicago, IL, November 2006

Review by Greg Olma

For those of us in the Kiss Army not stationed in the New York area, it has been a long time coming for this tour. More specifically, it has been 17 long years. Paul did a few concerts in New York back in 1989 but he basically ignored the rest of the country. Based on his performance in Chicago, all has been forgiven because it was certainly worth the wait. He brought with him the house band from the Rockstar:INXS and SuperNova shows. If you have watched either season, you will have already known that they are a bunch of top notch musos. They were able to create a full sound and had no problem tackling any of the material.

Things kicked off nicely with the title track of his new CD Live To Win. Paul’s vocals were kind of low in the mix but as the song progressed, that little glitch was fixed. As I stated earlier, the band created a nice full sound throughout the night giving main man Stanley the room to concentrate on his vocals. “Hide Your Heart” was next and it was good to see this track get a run through live. Kiss hasn’t played it in years. Digging deeper in his back catalogue, Paul pulled out “A Million To One” off of Lick It Up. I don’t believe Kiss ever played this one live and if they did, it wasn’t in the set list for long. The band really helped out with the backing vocals and it made it sound just as good as the studio version.

One of the highlights of the show were the definitely the Kiss songs that were never or rarely played. Even though “I Want You” has been getting a little bit of air time on the “Rock The Nation” tour, it is still a rarely played classic. Both the crowd and I were floored (as much as you can be in this internet information age) when Paul launched into “Magic Touch” off of Dynasty. Not only is it a deep cut, it is also a really good song. I remember being disappointed with Dynasty when it came out but hearing this cut live made me go re-visit the album. The band did a great job recreating this tune.

The other highlight was getting 4 songs off of the Paul Stanley solo album from 1978. Back in 1989, he played 3 of the 4 songs but he added “Move On.” The tracks were “Tonight You Belong To Me,” “Wouldn’t You Like To Know Me,” and “Goodbye” (which also ended the show). Even though there is a new solo record, Paul did not dwell on it and only played 4 tracks off it, “Bulletproof” and the title track being the best of the bunch. “Everytime I See You Around” is not a bad song but compared to the rest of the set, it stuck out and brought a little bit of a lull to the show.

To round off the performance, Paul played a lot of other Kiss classics. One of the strong points of the show as a whole was the song order and pacing. Even though some of the material came off the same album, none of the tracks were played back to back. Not only was the Kiss and solo material jumbled up, no 2 slower songs were played together. That alone made sure that there were no “dead spots” during the show. People were not leaving their spots because they were afraid they might miss another great tune. I haven’t had this much fun at a concert in a while. If you missed any of the shows on this tour, you may be in luck. They recorded the gig for a possible DVD release. I will be first in line to get a copy because the show was really “that” good.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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